How to Grow Sunflowers

Few sights are more stunning than a field of sunflowers pointing their faces sunward, and few gardening experiences are more rewarding than bringing the beauty of the sunflower to your own backyard.

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Up next in How to Grow Flowers (13 videos)

Learn how to make your garden grow with the gardening tips in this video series from Howcast.

You Will Need

  • Sunflower seeds
  • Knowledge of weather conditions and patterns
  • Sunny or partially sunny garden spot
  • Basic garden tools
  • Fertilizer
  • Garden stakes

Steps

  1. Step 1

    Choose a variety

    Choose a sunflower seed variety based on whether you want to grow giant 10-foot plants, medium-sized 6- to 10-foot plants, or miniature border sunflowers.

  2. Step 2

    Monitor weather conditions

    Monitor weather conditions to learn when the danger of frost has passed so you may plant your sunflower seeds safely.

  3. Step 3

    Plant seeds

    Plant seeds 1-inch deep and 6 to 8 inches apart, spacing rows 3 feet apart for giant varieties, 2 feet apart for mid-sized varieties, and 1 foot apart for miniatures.

  4. Mass sunflower plantings create a dramatic effect in the garden, while planting just a few among your vine crops adds a colorful accent.

  5. Step 4

    Handpick pests

    Handpick pests, such as caterpillars and weevils, during the growing season, and pluck yellowed leaves.

  6. Sunflowers are a favorite plant for introducing children to gardening because they are easily grown and require little care.

  7. Step 5

    Maximize growth

    Maximize sunflower growth by keeping soil moist and fertilizing biweekly.

  8. Step 6

    Stake sunflowers

    Stake sunflowers as they grow for stalk support when needed, and in 70 to 90 days you'll be rewarded with a gorgeous crop and nutritious sunflower seeds to share with birds, squirrels, and your friends.

  9. Sunflowers are a leading oilseed crop primarily grown in the Midwestern United States where soybeans grow poorly.

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